CORSALI, Andrea. Florence 29.6.1487 — 15??. Italian Traveller. Son of Giovanni C., had good education. In the service of de Medicis he went to India in a Portuguese ship in 1515 and sent to Giuliano and Lorenzo de Medici two letters describing the lands and people. First in Goa, visited Cochin in 1515, in 1517 participated in the Portuguese expedition to the Red Sea and returned to Goa. He wrote the second letter in September 1517, then disappears from history. Beside Goa and Kerala he described in his letters Gujarat and briefly Malacca and China, in the second also Arabia. He could show that Sumatra and Ceylon, then usually confused, where separate islands. He was the first to report of the existence of New Guinea and to describe the Southern Cross constellation.
Publications: “Lettera d’Andrea Corsali Fiorentino allo illustrissimo Signor Duca Giuliano de Medici scritta in Cochin terra dell’India nell’anno MDXV alli VI di Gennaio. Della Navigazione del Mar Rosso & sino Persico fino al Cochin città nella India, scritta alli XVII di Settembre MDXVII”, Ramusio, Navigazioni e Viaggi. 1. Venice 1550, 192a-203b (apparently first printed in Florence 1516/18).
– Transl. & ed. by S. Sergi: Andrea Corsali: Fiorentino: a watcher of the Austral skies: the letter from India. Canberra 2013.
Sources: G. Corsi, D.B.I. 29, 1983; Wikipedia (much more in Italian version).
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